The 12th annual — and possibly the last — Unions for Kids motorcycle poker run donated a record $75,000 to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. Unions for Kids (U4K) is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization with 100 percent of proceeds going to Doernbecher. Since its inception in 2003, the Poker Run has donated $465,000 to help sick children.
A total of 279 riders took part in the challenging, twisting 75-mile ride June 14 that took them along portions of the old Columbia River Highway. The winner — with a high hand of Queens over Jacks — was Roger Misho. The low-hand of Ace, 3, 4, 5, 7 was held by Mark Neyman. The Chili Cook-off champion was Dan Newberry, representing Machinists Lodge 63. Winner of the gold coin raffle was Tom and Renelle Deering. And Emory Schaffer, a member of IBEW Local 48, took home the grand prize of a new 2014 Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
The poker run, chili cook-off and raffle drawings are held at the IBEW Local 48 union hall in Northeast Portland. The largest cash contribution to the event was $5,063 from Machinist Lodge 63. The largest corporate contribution came from Columbia Motorcycle Harley-Davidson with $3,150.
Lee Duncan, a recently retired member of IBEW Local 48, is president and a co-founder of U4K. Duncan announced at this year’s event that he and wife Kathy (also a Local 48 member) were stepping down. If a successor doesn’t come forward soon, this may well be the last U4K poker run ever held.